Tearlach Resources (TSXV: TEA; US-OTC: TELHF) says new testing on old core samples from the Gabriel lithium property in Nevada grade 28% higher on average.
The duplicate assay program was completed during a due diligence period before Tearlach committed to a joint venture on Gabriel with Blackrock Silver (TSX: BRC). Tearlach signed the joint venture with Blackrock on Jan. 10 and under the agreement can acquire up to a 70% interest in Gabriel’s lithium rights by paying US$15 million in exploration costs.
The comparison of the duplicate to the original assays was done on 57 rotary drill samples Blackrock collected last year at Gabriel, previously known as the North Tonopah project, about halfway between Las Vegas and Reno and roughly 3 km south of American Lithium’s (TSXV: LI; NASDAQ: AMLI) TLC project.
Highlights of the duplicate assay results included 740 parts per million (ppm) lithium over 1.5 metres in drill hole TN22-020, a 62% increase from the 457.1 ppm lithium reported previously.
Assays from hole TN22-006 were 1,270 ppm lithium over 1.5 metres, a 49% increase from 51.9 ppm lithium in the original assay; and TN22-018 with 1,160 ppm lithium over 1.5 metres from 67 metres downhole, a 20% increase from 967.8 ppm lithium in the original assay.
“These improved assays not only confirm the discovery that BRC made but expand the cut-off mineralized area significantly,” Tearlach CEO Morgan Lekstrom said in the release. “This analysis indicates a possible increase in lithium grade for the Gabriel property.”
Vancouver-based Tearlach is applying for drill permits and says it expects to start drilling 20 holes this year. It plans 5,000 metres in expansion drilling on the site this year, 3,000 metres in resource and in-fill drilling next year, and a preliminary economic assessment in 2025 ahead of production sometime before 2028.
Analysts say demand for lithium is skyrocketing as automakers shift to electric vehicles where the mineral is used in rechargeable batteries. Canada is among countries in the West trying to promote exploration and refining of lithium to challenge China, which controls some 80% of the critical minerals needed for modern technology, according to BMO Capital Markets.